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about 24 hours ago

"
The Truman Library has a "student activity" sheet asking questions about how the US decided to recognize Israel.

The questions being asked are at odds with history.

Have the class review the documents regarding the complex issue of recognizing Israel. Look at the history of Palestine, the United Nations proposal, Truman’s friendship with Eddie Jacobson, and the world climate after World War II. What would have happened if Truman would have not recognized Israel? What would the world climate be like if Palestine would have been divided into two nations as in the UN proposition. Would the peace process even be necessary if Truman would have not conceded to Israel?

These are leading questions that ignore the fact that the partition plan was a dead letter because of violent Arab opposition. The idea that somehow the 1947 partition plan, and resultant Arab state, would still be in force in the 21st century had the US backed it in May 1948 is the height of absurdity. The wording that Truman "conceded" to Israel is also ahistorical. He very much made up his own mind.

It gets worse:"

May 23, 16

"Form-Based Code

/fôrm-bāsed kōd/

noun

A form-based code is a land development regulation that fosters predictable built results and a high-quality public realm by using physical form (rather than separation of uses) as the organizing principle for the code. A form-based code is a regulation, not a mere guideline, adopted into city, town, or county law. A form-based code offers a powerful alternative to conventional zoning regulation.

Form-based codes address the relationship between building facades and the public realm, the form and mass of buildings in relation to one another, and the scale and types of streets and blocks. The regulations and standards in form-based codes are presented in both words and clearly drawn diagrams and other visuals. They are keyed to a regulating plan that designates the appropriate form and scale (and therefore, character) of development, rather than only distinctions in land-use types.

This approach contrasts with conventional zoning’s focus on the micromanagement and segregation of land uses, and the control of development intensity through abstract and uncoordinated parameters (e.g., FAR, dwellings per acre, setbacks, parking ratios, traffic LOS), to the neglect of an integrated built form."

May 23, 16

see also Haaretz and other stories on this

"Muslim Media Darling: Hitler Spared Some Jews 'So We'd Know Why He Killed Them'

by Raheem Kassam • May 21, 2016
Cross-posted from Breitbart
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Originally published under the title "Media-Darling Muslim Selfie Girl: 'Hitler Left Some Jews So We'd Know Why He Killed Them'."

Zakia Belkhiri, lauded by the Western media for taking a "defiant" selfie at an anti-Islam protest in Belgium, is apparently a raving anti-Semite.

A Muslim girl who took a "defiant" selfie at an anti-Islam protest in Belgium allegedly posted anti-Semitic comments on her Twitter, Facebook, and Ask.fm accounts, according to a Belgian former soldier and a leading Dutch website.

Zakia Belkhiri, 22, was lauded as an "inspiration" by the media as her picture next to Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest) protesters went viral.

But web sleuths have now claimed that Ms. Belkhiri's "peace sign" in the picture is perhaps out of character for her. They claim she tweeted in 2012: "Hitler didnt kill all the jews, he left some. So we [would] know why he was killing them."

The tweet (seen in the below screengrab), which appears to have been sent on December 19, 2012, is now circulating on social media as people attempt to draw attention to Ms. Belkhiri's alleged racist views. As Ms. Belkhiri has now deleted her account it is not possible to verify these tweets.

An apparent tweet from Zakia Belkhiri, sent on December 19, 2012.

Shortly before she deleted her accounts, Ms. Belkhiri tweeted: "I DON'T HAVE ANYTHING AGAINST JEWS THOSE TWEETS ARE FAKE THEY ARE PHOTOSHOPPED BUT if you don't believe me that's your choice people."

But social media users are also claiming her Ask.fm account allegedly read: "fuck that Jewish language" when she was asked if she wanted to learn Hebrew, while critics claim her Facebook account expressed her hatred for Jews.

Immediately after the incident, Ms. Belkhiri deleted her Twitter account and told BBC Trending that she "didn't want to look like a girl who seeks attention." It is unclear as to whether she told the same thing to the cameramen when she posed for pictures at the protest.

Zakia Belkhiri on Ask.fm: "Fuck that Jewish language."

The initial story was lauded by Buzzfeed, whose writers called Ms. Belkhiri an "inspiration," and by the BBC, the Telegraph, the Huffington Post, Vox, Mashable, Mic, and hundreds of other websites around the world.

NBC's Jake Heller was shocked to hear of these past alleged postings by Ms. Belkhiri.

But the Dutch website Geenstijl, which delivered a Dutch referendum on the European Union earlier this year, was less shocked:

Do you remember? The Muslim girl... what a mischievous opposition, when this innocent girl clearly demonstrated of all that white fascism. Unfortunately, she proved no exception, she proved the rule. She is the rule. The rabidly hating Jews rule where the average Muslim is concerned... The Internet does not forget. And screenshots are eternal. Oh yeah Zakia, you want fame? Enjoy it girl. We'll keep an eye on you.

And while Ms. Belkhiri claims that she wanted to avoid fame, it does not explain her tweet as she was first going viral, which read: "I ain't a diva but don't push me fame is like the sweetest joy next to getting money."

Ms. Belkhiri's social media accounts were first subject to mass deletions and now have been deactivated in their entirety."

May 23, 16

"Excerpt from the article "On the history of the Jews in Czernowitz" by Prof. Dr. Herman Sternberg: "During the war years, Czernowitz could hardly be recognized. People frightened and weighed down with troubles, hurried like shadows through the streets. Military uniforms dominated the cityscape. Officers and tired soldiers were on their way to or from the railroad station. The station building, heated in winter had become a dormitory. Soldiers slept on the floor pressed closely together, leaving no space free. Anyone seeking the entrance had to step over them. The closer the war came to its end, the greater became the lack of food and other necessities. The most difficult articles to obtain were fuel and foot wear. Prices rose from day to day. The greatly reduced Jewish population suffered indescribable difficulties. Intellectual life had died completely. After the fall of darkness, all traffic ceased because the street lights didn't work. Families generally restricted themselves to one room, dimly lit with an oil lamp. The only topic of conversation was the war and its consequences."

Courtesy: Jewish Genealogical Society Of Ottawa
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May 23, 16

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4.75 stars4.75 stars4.75 stars4.75 stars4.75 stars (12)

As you’ve probably figured out by now, I love to grill. In sunny California, there’s nothing better than throwing a meal on the grill and sipping a cold cocktail as the sun goes down. Sometimes I’m a grilling mood, but I want something light… especially on really hot summer nights. These Marinated Fish Skewers fit the bill.

This marinade includes many of my favorite spices, which are also some of the most common spices used in Middle Eastern Sephardic Jewish cooking. Combined with lemon juice in a marinade, they bring lots of aromatic flavor to the fish. Cooking them on a smoky grill adds even more deliciousness. To stretch the meat, you can alternate the fish with onion or pepper slices on the skewer. Choose a firm white fish that won’t flake or fall apart too easily on the grill. Try not to marinate the fish for longer than two hours, or the citrus in the lemon juice will start to break down the meat, which will make it more delicate on the grill.

These skewers are a great option for a Labor Day barbecue. In fact, I might just grill some up this weekend! Serve them with tzatziki, tahini sauce or toum for even more flavor; they also go great with my Grilled Lemon Butter Zucchini. Enjoy!

"

May 23, 16

"
Karl Polanyi and twenty-first century socialism
Fred Block 22 May 2016

Polanyi’s views were the exact opposite of his contemporary, Joseph Schumpeter, who famously defined democracy as giving people a choice over which elite group would rule over them.

open Movements
The openMovements series invites leading social scientists to share their research results and perspectives on contemporary social struggles.

We are at the end of a cycle that started in the second XIXth century. During this cycle, including in the XXth century, the left was governed by the ideology of progress and economic determinism. After the collapse of the so-called ‘communist’ countries, the question of the relevance of a new left for the XXIst century was raised. Different elements are necessary to answer it, the growing number of citizen initiatives all over the world (that is the subject of the launch text by Laville), the ambivalent experiences of left governments in South America (second subject raised by Coraggio). The analysis of these complex background issues opens up new perspectives for collective action and emancipation (to follow, third and fourth texts by Wainwright and Hart) and the structural crisis of European social democracy (fifth, sixth, and seventh closing texts by Hulgard, Block and Lévesque). Very different from those of the traditional left; this week’s opinions and debates are also to be found in detail in Spanish (Reinventar la izquierda en el siglo XXI – Hasta un dialogo Norte-Sur) and French (Les gauches du XXIe siècle – Un dialogue Nord-Sud ). Jean-Louis Laville, economist and sociologist, supervised 'Les gauches du XXIe siècle – Un dialogue Nord-Sud' (Bord de l’eau, 2016).

New Harmony as imagined by Robert Owen and drawn by an English architect. Gabled houses and futuristic buildings were to be on a square enclosing botanical gardens. Wikicommons. Public domain.

In recent decades, grassroots movements around the world have mobilized millions of people against the commodification of land, labor, and money that has been central to the project of “free market” globalization. People with greater democratic rights at the workplace and in local communities could transform parliamentary democracies into institutions in which elected representatives really did what voters wanted them to do.

Efforts to build the solidarity and social economy, to expand and defend the commons, to implement a Basic Income for all citizens, and to resist land grabs by speculators and giant corporations all rest on the recognition that it is inhuman to leave people and their natural surroundings vulnerable to the dictates of impersonal markets. These initiatives have sometimes been inspired by the powerful argument that Karl Polanyi developed in The Great Transformation, where he explained the disastrous consequences of imagining that land, labor and money could and should be treated like any other good or service, to be sold on the market.

Today, these movements face a new challenge – moving from resistance to building a real alternative to free market fundamentalism. The Global Financial Crisis of 2008 and the years of austerity and pain since then have made it glaringly obvious that the existing global system has failed, and that we need something radically different if we are to survive the challenge of accelerating climate change, widespread economic dislocation, and intensifying geopolitical conflicts.

But part of the problem is that most of the visions of socialism elaborated in the twentieth century – both in theory and in practice – fail to connect with the aspirations of grassroots activists to gain greater control over the conditions of their everyday lives. The need is urgent for a model of socialism that would resonate with the initiatives of activists to build a different kind of economy from the bottom up. Surprisingly, Karl Polanyi did not just offer a powerful critique of fictitious commodities; in the middle of the twentieth century, he also articulated ideas about socialism that could be extremely helpful in constructing a model of twenty-first century socialism. From his journalistic outpost in Vienna, Polanyi had been an eyewitness to the internecine conflicts between Communists and Socialists in Germany that prevented a united front to stop the triumph of Nazism.

In contrast to the Marxist tradition, Polanyi defined socialism in terms of the extension of democracy into the economic realm. He wrote: “Socialism is, essentially the tendency inherent in an industrial civilization to transcend the self-regulating market by consciously subordinating it to a democratic society.” Buried in this brief definition are a series of ideas that could be useful for building an alternative to the current dysfunctional global economy.

First, Polanyi is deliberately challenging the emphasis on property relations that has been central to the Marxist tradition. For Marx and Engels, socialism requires the end of private ownership of the means of production. But as we learned from the experience of both Soviet and Chinese socialism, eliminating private property does not eliminate the divide between those with more power and those with less power. In place of the old bourgeoisie, a “new class” organized around party elites exercised power and enjoyed higher incomes and other privileges.

Polanyi’s contrasting view is that the only way to narrow the gap between rulers and ruled is by deepening and extending political democracy. Polanyi’s views were the exact opposite of his contemporary, Joseph Schumpeter, who famously defined democracy as giving people a choice over which elite group would rule over them. While Polanyi recognized the accuracy of Schumpeter’s description of typical parliamentary democracies, his view was that democracy can be deepened by giving people greater democratic rights at the workplace and in local communities, and they could then transform parliamentary democracies into institutions in which the elected representatives really did what the voters wanted them to do.

And that extension also means abandoning the free market idea that the workings of the economy should be off-limits to democratic decision making. Polanyi’s argument was that free market advocates were always disingenuous in their arguments in favor of laissez-faire. His view was that imposing free markets on society always required extensive state coercion. That was what he was getting at with the fictitious commodities; they do not just emerge naturally; they have to be created every day through the exercise of governmental powers. Under laissez-faire, these government powers are used to enhance the power and wealth of the ownership class.

By extending democracy over the economy, Polanyi believed those same government powers could be used on behalf of working people and the poor. By extending democracy over the economy, Polanyi believed those same government powers could be used on behalf of working people and the poor. This meant social policies that provided people with access to education, to health care, to old age pensions, and unemployment insurance. It also meant reforms of labor law that weakened the property rights of employers. But Polanyi also envisioned citizens having a voice in the key decisions about what kinds of investments should be made and what the economy should produce.

Polanyi was hardly naïve. He recognized that those with wealth would resist this deepening and extension of democracy just as propertied elites had often resisted the expansion of suffrage and other democratic rights. Moreover, he was contemptuous of those who imagined that the coming of socialism was somehow preordained or inevitable. He believed that building socialism required an organized socialist movement that was able to create institutions of popular democracy through which people could learn how society works and become empowered citizens.

His approach to socialism involved a unique combination of incrementalism and radicalism. Polanyi’s thinking was very much shaped by the disastrous experience of World War I in Central Europe. That war divided the international socialist movement between reformist socialists and revolutionary socialists. The former embraced a gradualist vision of socialism that made its peace with many of the arrangements of existing parliamentary democracies. The latter insisted on the need for a revolutionary rupture and a complete break with the institutions of bourgeois democracy. From his journalistic outpost in Vienna, Polanyi had been an eyewitness to the internecine conflicts between Communists and Socialists in Germany that prevented a united front to stop the triumph of Nazism.

Polanyi imagined that socialists could be reunified once they understood that the struggle for socialism would occur incrementally over many decades, and that there was no way of telling in advance how deep and radical the transformation in society might be. Polanyi expressed this idea in The Great Transformation by twice invoking a quote from Robert Owen, the early nineteenth century socialist. “Should any causes of evil be irremovable by the new powers which men are about to acquire, they will know that they are necessary and unavoidable evils; and childish, unavailing complaints will cease to be made.”

Polanyi recognized this quote to be a powerful response to T.R. Malthus’ argument in The Essay on Population (1798). Malthus began that influential work by expressing his great admiration for the egalitarian and democratic visions of such Enlightenment radicals as Condorcet and Godwin. However, Malthus went on to argue that these appealing visions were fundamentally in conflict with the nature of human existence that was inevitably shaped by scarcity and the perpetual threat of overpopulation and famine. Malthus, in brief, was arguing that human beings had no choice but to accept deep inequalities of class and gender.

Robert Owen completely rejected this logic. He believed that the possibility of human improvement was an empirical question rather than an issue that had been resolved by Malthus’ invocation of laws of economics and population. Owen’s argument was that we can and should reorganize society to remove such evils as class and gender inequality and it was only when we had repeatedly tried and failed to remove evils that we should accept them as irremovable. It was implicit in Owen’s formulation that this was a process that would play out over time through experimentation as society learned what could and could not be changed.

In recycling Owen’s insight, Polanyi envisioned a path towards socialism that can be termed “empowerment without hubris.” Incrementalism meant that people did not have to make the all-or-nothing decision that was required for a revolutionary break with the existing system. Moreover, each set of reforms would be evaluated and modified if they were not producing the intended effects. But the idea of continuous change over a long period of time meant that people did not have to be content with modest reforms. They could still envision a future that would be radically different from the present since successful reforms would create the possibility of further steps to eliminate evils that had not yet been touched. Building socialism required an organized socialist movement that was able to create institutions of popular democracy through which people could learn how society works and become empowered citizens.

For Polanyi, this approach was an alternative to what he saw as the utopian and hubristic element in the Marxist revolutionary tradition. Unrealistic expectations about socialism’s ability to transform human existence overnight were bound to breed later disillusionment. Moreover, the idea that Marxism is a science that understands the laws of history helped pave the way for substituting rule by the party’s leadership for an actual expansion in democratic governance.

But probably the most important aspect of Polanyi’s socialism was his way of thinking about the problem of socialist transition. In the twentieth century, neither revolutionary nor reformist paths to socialism proved effective. World revolution or even a simultaneous transition to socialism in ten or fifteen major nations appears unattainable, given the different rhythms of political change in different nations. Yet the problem of encirclement effectively doomed efforts to construct decent and attractive socialist societies. It is not just that the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba developed along autocratic lines without creating the expanded human freedom that socialists had envisioned. It is also that democratic socialist initiatives such as Allende’s project in Chile in the 1970’s, Mitterrand’s efforts in France in the 1980’s, and Syriza’s electoral triumph in Greece in 2015 all came to naught because they were encircled by a hostile global system.

In Chile’s case, it was an economic boycott combined with US support for a military coup; with France and Greece, it was sustained economic pressures from outside. It seems indisputable that the inability of socialist intellectuals to provide a persuasive narrative of how a socialist transition might actually occur has been a critical element in socialism’s weakness over the last four decades.

Gold certificates were used as paper currency in the United States from 1882 to 1933. These certificates were freely convertible into gold coins.Wikicommons. Public domain. Polanyi, however, brought a new angle of vision to this question. He had watched closely the process by which the Labour Government in England in 1931 and the Popular Front government in France in 1936 were effectively forced to abandon their radical reform agendas by international economic pressures.

But what he saw at work was not the inherent and necessary logic of a global capitalist order, but the workings of a very specific institutional mechanism – the international gold standard that was restored in the aftermath of World War I. His central insight was that this had been a mistaken historical choice and that it was possible to organize the global economy with a very different mechanism for regulating economic transactions among nations.

To be sure, Polanyi was not alone in this insight. The key British and US architects of the Bretton Woods system, John Maynard Keynes and Harry Dexter White, came to the same conclusion. But among socialist intellectuals, Polanyi was a rarity in recognizing that the global rules and institutions for governing international economic transactions were political arrangements that could be changed in ways that would open space for socialist politics. Polanyi’s viewpoint was vindicated because the Bretton Woods global order (1944-73), despite its clear shortcomings, did facilitate the significant advances of social democracy in western Europe.

Moreover, the post-1973 global order of floating exchange rates and accelerating liberalization did the opposite. It pushed the world back to the era of the gold standard. Rapid global capital movements are once again a critical barrier to implementing reforms within nations and they exert periodic pressures on nations to reverse social democratic reforms that had been adopted earlier.

Polanyi’s specific contribution to socialist strategy is the idea that socialists must engage simultaneously in political struggle at three or four distinct levels or scales. Polanyi’s specific contribution to socialist strategy is the idea that socialists must engage simultaneously in political struggle at three or four distinct levels or scales. There is first the local level where people must be organized to participate both electorally and in trade unions and other forms of association that contribute to their collective power. There is then the national level where these local movements aggregate their power by fighting for measures that will subordinate the market to democratic politics. There is sometimes, as with the European Community, a regional governance structure where socialists must campaign for region-wide reforms that facilitate continued strong grassroots organizations at the local and national level. Finally, there is a global level where agreements are formulated on the global rules governing finance, trade, environmental policies, and an international regime of rights that is more or less successful in protecting workers, women, children, indigenous people, and others. At this level as well, socialists fight for reform measures that open up more space at the remaining levels of contestation.

This idea of the multi-level struggle for socialism provides an answer to the historical conundrum of socialism in one country. As socialists gain increasing power and influence in particular nations, they push with greater intensity for reforms at the transnational level that would help empower socialist activists to win strategic reforms in other places. For example, global trade rules have long allowed nations to block imports that were produced by child labor or slave labor. Imagine then that the global rules were rewritten to allow nations to exclude products produced in nations that did not have independent trade unions and collective bargaining. Imagine that global rules were rewritten to allow nations to exclude products produced in nations that did not have independent trade unions and collective bargaining. In this way, a transnational socialist politics could open up space for reform politics in places where it is currently impossible. With the same idea of gradually ratcheting up global standards that has been used by the environmental movement, one can envision an incremental process where most nations are moving towards greater democratic control over the market, albeit at different speeds.

Moreover, this vision of multi-level contestation fits with the idea of incremental experimentation at the national level. The process of improving the global level rules will inevitably involve victories and defeats, since the barriers to movements effectively coordinating across international lines are formidable and movements also have to contend with the complexities of power politics among major nations. Nevertheless, the idea is that over time these democratic movements from below will develop greater capacity as people around the world come to recognize that their own futures are highly dependent on what happens at the global level.

Obviously, these Polanyian ideas about the nature of socialism are still far removed from the day-to-day dilemmas faced by activists and parties of the left. But there are strong potential linkages between Polanyian socialism and the sensibilities of many activists who are struggling to protect themselves and their neighbors from out-of-control market forces.

First, there is a spirit of experimentalism – the necessity of creating new solidaristic institutions which are based on democratic norms. Second, there is the idea that change can and must be both incremental and continuous; the institutions that we are building today are not an end in themselves but a bridge that we are building towards a different social world. Third, there is “empowerment without hubris” that reminds us that our initiatives are inherently provisional and that we must constantly be checking to make sure that our methods of achieving change are consistent with our vision of a society that is more deeply democratic. Finally, the idea of multilevel contestation provides a powerful mechanism for linking the local to the national to the global.

There are, of course, many movements and activists who have deliberately avoided articulating a vision of the future, preferring instead to concentrate on immediate struggles. Occupy Wall Street, for example, famously refused to even issue demands. However, I continue to believe that we can only build an effective alternative to market fundamentalism if we can articulate a powerful and persuasive vision of the kind of society we want to create. In that respect, there is much we can learn from Karl Polanyi’s ideas about socialism.
How to cite:
Block F.(2016) Karl Polanyi and twenty-first century socialism, Open Democracy / ISA RC-47: Open Movements,22 May. https://opendemocracy.net/fred-block/karl-polanyi-and-twenty-first-century-socialism
About the author

Fred Block is Research Professor of Sociology at the University of California in Davis. He is also President of the Center for Engaged Scholarship (cescholar.org). His book with Matthew R. Keller, is State of Innovation: The U.S. Government's Role in Technology Development. His most recent book, with Margaret Somers, is The Power of Market Fundamentalism: Karl Polanyi's Critique (Harvard University Press).
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May 23, 16

"
Johnson
Prevailing winds
The “usage wars” are coming to an end, and good sense is winning

May 19th 2016, 14:42 | From the print edition
FOR half a century, language experts have fallen into two camps, with most lexicographers and academic linguists on one side, and traditionalist writers and editors on the other."

May 23, 16

"Former Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech classrooms in Northampton converted into high-end apartments
1 / 54
A showcase apartment unit in Hubbard Hall.
Laura Newberry | laura.newberry@masslive.com
Laura Newberry | laura.newberry@masslive.com By Laura Newberry | laura.newberry@masslive.com
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on May 16, 2016 at 12:33 PM, updated May 17, 2016 at 3:31 PM
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NORTHAMPTON -- When you step into one of the newly remodeled apartments on Round Hill Road, you might first notice the 8 and 1/2-foot-tall windows. And then, perhaps, your eyes will settle on the slate chalkboards in the living room.

Both elements are original to Hubbard Hall, which was built in 1911 as part of the Clarke School for the Deaf, now known as the Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech. The red brick building near Smith College, which once housed classrooms, is being converted into 22 apartments that will be available for rent as soon as July 1.

The $10 million endeavor is that of Historic Round Hill Summit, which purchased 11 buildings on the former Clarke School campus in 2013. The owners of the HRHS -- Peter Picknelly of Peter Pan Bus Lines, Michael Siddall of Siddall & Siddall PC and James Hebert, the president of Checkwriters, Inc. -- are also turning Rogers Hall, originally built in 1802, into 15 apartments that aren't quite ready for lease.

Developers are required to keep certain historical elements of the buildings intact -- hence chalkboards in kitchens, living rooms and some bedrooms -- because Hubbard and Rogers halls are on the National Register of Historic Places.

In addition to the windows, which got all-new glass, the units also feature refinished turn-of-the-century heart pine flooring. Nearly all the trim and doors are original, too, according to project manager Max Hebert.

The tall living room windows boast sweeping view of the Holyoke Range. And Downtown Northampton is about a 10-minute walk from the complex, with Smith College just across the street. Yet the tree-lined Round Hill Road offers a quiet tranquility, Hebert noted.

But the beauty and convenience comes at a cost.

The 900-to-1,500 square foot Hubbard apartments range from $1,500 to $2,900 per month. The building offers studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, each with kitchens, living spaces and a bathroom for each bedroom.

Take a video tour of one of the units below:

Hebert acknowledged that the apartment prices are at the "top of Northampton's market." But he insisted that demand for such luxury apartments is strong.

"They're not not out of sight," Hebert said. "We do see people interested in them."

HRHS expected mostly retirees to fill the apartments, Hebert said. But a few people have already signed leases, and so far the tenants are diverse in age -- a couple in their 40s and a 28-year-old single woman, among them.

A number of the unique campus buildings will also be converted into apartments, Hebert said, as well as commercial space. Checkwriters, Inc. has a contract to move into Gawith Hall across from Hubbard and Rogers.
"I think it just helps people to remember, to know what was there." -- Barbara Blumenthal

The history

Clarke was founded in 1867 in Northampton by Gardiner Green Hubbard, whose four-year-old daughter, Mabel, became deaf from scarlet fever. Before Clarke opened on Round Hill, the location had been the home to the famous Round Hill School for Boys.

The Clarke campus is perhaps most known for being a temporary home to President Calvin Coolidge -- who was also mayor of Northampton, and then governor of Massachusetts -- as well as the place where Coolidge he met his wife, Grace.

But the property's history is more complex and quirky than widely known.

After the boys' school left, the stately white-brick Rogers Hall was used for the renowned Round Hill Water Cure Retreat. The "water cure" movement was started in Northampton in the 1840s by David Ruggles, a free black man and Underground Railroad organizer.

Ruggles promised the treatment would alleviate headaches, bronchitis, and cold limbs, among about 20 other ailments. Following Ruggles' success with the venture, two Northampton doctors opened Round Hill Water Cure Retreat, according to "In the Footsteps of Stonewall Jackson" by Clint Johnson.

Clarke School purchased the building in 1870 for its girls' dormitory.

Just south of Rogers Hall sat the Old Clarke Hall, built in 1836, according to Clarke's historical accounts. It was torn down in 1911 to make way for a larger building know today as Hubbard Hall. The new structure was named after Gardiner Greene Hubbard, the father of Mabel Hubbard, the wife of Alexander Graham Bell.

Clarke School for the Deaf -- now called Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech -- eventually expanded services in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Jacksonville, Florida. The school sold off most of its Northampton buildings in 2012 when it discontinued its residential programs after seeing poor enrollment, Hebert said.

Clarke's Northampton preschool and other services now operate out of Alexander Graham Bell Hall, also on Round Hill Road. Its K-8 program is co-located at Leeds Elementary.

Barbara B. Blumenthal, local historian and Smith College's rare book specialist, said its important to preserve properties like Clarke's Northampton campus. She said she finds it heartening that not only the outer shell of these buildings are reflecting their start centuries ago.


Blumenthal stressed the importance of "continuity between original use and new use" in historic preservation effort such as this one.

"The boys' school and Clarke were economically and socially important in Northampton for a long time," Blumenthal said, noting about the project, "I think it just helps people to remember, to know what was there.""

May 22, 16

"
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Sacred-texts Christianity
John Calvin. File from wikimedia. This image is in the public domain in the US. Works of John Calvin

This page indexes resources at this site relating to John Calvin.
INSTITUTES OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION

Of Prayer
by John Calvin, translated by Henry Beveridge [1845]
A Perpetual Exercise of Faith. The Daily Benefits Derived from It. Institutes of the Christian Religion, Bk. 3, Ch. XX.

On the Christian Life
by John Calvin, translated by Henry Beveridge [1845]
A Perpetual Exercise of Faith. The Daily Benefits Derived from It. Institutes of the Christian Religion, Bk. 3, Ch. VI.

The Institutes of the Christian Religion
by John Calvin, translated by Henry Beveridge [1845]
BIBLICAL COMMENTARIES
of John Calvin
translated by John King
[1847-50]
1. Genesis, Part I
2. Genesis, Part II
3. Harmony of the Law, Part I
4. Harmony of the Law, Part II
5. Harmony of the Law, Part III
6. Harmony of the Law, Part IV
7. Joshua
8. Psalms, Part I
9. Psalms, Part II
10. Psalms, Part III
11. Psalms, Part IV
12. Psalms, Part V
13. Isaiah, Part I
14. Isaiah, Part II
15. Isaiah, Part III
16. Isaiah, Part IV
17. Jeremiah and Lamentations, Part I
18. Jeremiah and Lamentations, Part II
19. Jeremiah and Lamentations, Part III
20. Jeremiah and Lamentations, Part IV
21. Jeremiah and Lamentations, Part V
22. Ezekiel, Part I
23. Ezekiel, Part II
24. Daniel, Part I
25. Daniel, Part II
26. Hosea
27. Joel, Amos, Obadiah
28. Jonah, Micah, Nahum
29. Habakkuk, Zephaniah, and Haggai
30. Zechariah, Malachai
31. Matthew, Mark and Luke, Part I
32. Matthew, Mark and Luke, Part II
33. Matthew, Mark and Luke, Part III
34. John, Part I
35. John, Part II
36. Acts, Part I
37. Acts, Part II
38. Romans
39. Corinthians, Part I
40. Corinthians, Part II
41. Galatians and Ephesians
42. Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians
43. Timothy, Titus, and Philemon
44. Hebrews
45. Catholic Epistles"

May 22, 16

"In a sinkhole near Tallahassee, ancient evidence of the first Americans

By Matt Soergel Fri, May 20, 2016 @ 10:01 pm | updated Fri, May 20, 2016 @ 10:08 pm
Back Photo: 1 of 5 Next
Underwater archaeologists have found evidence, deep in a sinkhole under a river near Tallahassee, that humans lived in North America some 14,500 years ago, more than 1,000 years earlier than long believed. The evidence is forcing them to reconsider how the earliest settlers to the America arrived from Asia. Center for the Study of the First Americans
Center for the Study of the First Americans
Underwater archaeologists have found evidence, deep in a sinkhole under a river near Tallahassee, that humans lived in North America some 14,500 years ago, more than 1,000 years earlier than long believed. The evidence is forcing them to reconsider how the earliest settlers to the America arrived from Asia.

South of Tallahassee, deep in a sinkhole under the dark Aucilla River, archeologists have found a small stone knife that they date to some 14,550 years ago — to a time when ice thousands of feet thick covered much of North America, mastodons and mammoths roamed, and menacing dire wolves would have been a deadly threat to the human who made the tiny tool.

That knife, the scientists say, is part of some “unassailable” evidence that humans lived in North America well more than 1,000 years earlier than long thought.

That’s not just a matter of dates on a page.

Indeed, it forces a rethinking, they said, of the long-held theory of how the Americas’ first settlers came. To arrive that early, they couldn’t have walked across a land bridge from Asia and down an ice-free corridor in Canada, as previously thought — the glaciers had not yet retreated, and they would have met a cul-de-sac of ice.

Instead, they must have gone in boats and made their way down the coast, eventually spreading across the continents. Perhaps they went all the way around the tip of South America, then north. Perhaps they crossed in Central America. Perhaps they went into the mighty Columbia River, then headed east.

However they got there, it’s clear that people more than 14,000 years ago gathered around a small pond near what’s now the Gulf of Mexico. Back then it was 130 miles from the coast, part of a much larger Florida. As seas rose, that pond was covered and became a sinkhole under the Aucilla, and the evidence of their lives was covered up. Until now.

For most of the past century, archaeologists believed that the first people in the Americas arrived about 13,000 years ago. They were dubbed the Clovis culture, after the distinctive stone tools first found near Clovis, N.M.

In recent decades though, evidence found at sites in Chile, Texas, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin suggested that people lived in the Americas before the Clovis period.

“Slowly but surely we’ve been getting little glimpses of these people,” said Michael Waters, director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M University and part of the team that explored the sinkhole.

There had always been questions or doubts about the evidence at the other sites, he said, but not at the sinkhole, named Page-Ladson after the diver who found the first artifacts and the family that owns the land.

“It’s the breakthrough site,” Waters said. “The evidence is unassailable: We have everything, all the evidence that scientists would want to see that tells us people were here in North America prior to the Clovis period.”

Jessi Halligan, a Florida State University archaeologist, has been diving at Page-Ladson for years, and has been busy taking phone calls since the group published its results last week in the journal Science Advances.

“I guess flabbergasted is the right word in this case to describe how excited people are about this,” she said. “I’m a nerdy academic, and I’m thrilled to find that people think what I do is exciting.”

The stone tool, called a biface, can’t be radiocarbon-dated because it’s not of organic material. But there are a couple of reasons to believe it’s as old as the Page-Ladson team believes.

For one, it doesn’t have the telltale markings of a Clovis artifact. For another, it was found under four meters of sediment, in a layer of organic material — mostly preserved mastodon dung — that was radiocarbon-dated to 14,550 years ago. And the material was in orderly layers, not mixed up, with newer layers on top, older ones below.

Halligan said the team of archaeologists was building on earlier work at Page-Ladson. A diver, Buddy Page, first found artifacts and bones there in the 1980s, alerting scientists, who continued to search. They found some stone tools, the bones of extinct animals and a giant mastodon tusk, but many archaeologists remained skeptical: The evidence didn’t seem strong enough.

But the discovery of the knife — and further examination of the mastodon tusk, dated to more than 14,000 years and showing obvious signs of cutting on it — has caused a stir in the archaeology world.

“I think it’s legitimate,” said Keith Ashley, an archaeologist at the University of North Florida who was not involved in the research. “I think it’s great stuff they’re finding there. It’s a really productive site.”

Halligan began diving in the sinkhole in 2007. It’s challenging work. It’s cold — the scientists wear lots of neoprene — and pitch black without the lights they carry down. She said she will continue research there, as well as up and down the river, looking for more evidence of the elusive early Americans.

She was at the site on the day when two divers, working with a trowel, uncovered the knife, bringing up something hadn’t been touched by another human for millennia.

“It’s crazy exciting as an archaeologist,” Halligan said. “It meant that we could actually answer our questions at this site. It went from maybe it was, maybe there were people living there, to oh-my-freaking-God there people there, there were really people there 14,550 year ago.”

The scientific team acknowledged there isn’t a lot of physical evidence to go on — some stone tools, some butchered bones. It’s incredibly difficult to find and then date artifacts from long ago. But even those skimpy clues can help get at some long-buried truths.

“The plan is just to learn as much as we can about these early people as we rewrite the story of the first Americans,” Waters said. “Now we need to get the data, the hard data, to try to piece it all together. It’s an exciting time right now to be in this field.”"

May 22, 16

"Georgia preservation contest seeks photos of historic cemeteries
12:49 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, 2016 | Filed in: Lifestyle
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Photographers, here’s a contest to die for.

Yes, we went there.

Let’s start over.
Georgia preservation contest seeks photos of historic cemeteries photo
Photos of historic Myrtle Hill Cemetery in Rome. Photo by Andy Blackstock of Temple

It’s not too late to participate in the Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ annual photo contest.

The “Historic Cemeteries of Georgia” online photo contest is seeking for photographs of historic burial places from around the state. The contest is held to coincide with National Preservation Month.

May is also Preservation Month and Archaeology Month in Georgia.
One of the world's most-visited graves is in Georgia gallery
One of the world's most-visited graves is in Georgia

To qualify, some of the graves have to be more 50 years old. Photos will be judged on creativity, choice of subject matter and composition.

It’s nearly impossible to say exactly how many cemeteries are in Georgia, officials say. They range from small family cemeteries to larger, community or military cemeteries.

Previous themes included railroads, Civil War sites and historic downtowns.

The top entry will receive an annual membership to the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation and a copy of “Grave Intentions: A Comprehensive Guide to Preserving Historic Cemeteries in Georgia” by Christine Van Voorhies.

The limit is two submissions per photographer. The deadline is May 26. For information go here.

Related:

Tunes from the Tombs at Oakland Cemetery in June



Oakland Cemetery video series begins with Jewish burials"

May 22, 16

"
Philly's revolutionary history unearthed beneath museum site
Updated: May 20, 2016 — 8:21 AM EDT

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Camera icon ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ
Rebecca Yamin, lead archeologist at the site of the Museum of the American Revolution in Old City.
by Samantha Melamed, Staff Writer @samanthamelamed

Over the roar of a backhoe and the shriek of power tools, archaeologist Rebecca Yamin stood on the edge of a dusty pit and examined what was left of the western wall of the Van Dyke Building, which stood at Third and Chestnut Streets in the middle of the 19th century.
Rebecca Yamin, lead archeologist at the site of the Museum of the American Revolution in Old City.
Slideshow icon Slideshow
Philly's revolutionary history unearthed beneath museum site

It was the last piece of a puzzle in four dimensions - mapping the site of the Museum of the American Revolution over more than 250 years.

"The philosophy behind this work is, if you're going to destroy a site that's historic, we map all the features so at least there is a record," said Yamin, of the Commonwealth Heritage Group in West Chester.

What they unearthed in the fieldwork, which began in July 2014 and concluded last week, was a record of the city's built environment, containing thousands of objects that belonged to people who lived here.

"We could tell the story of Philadelphia in microcosm from that one place in the oldest part the city," Yamin said.

Of course, in the context of the museum, the Revolutionary War-era artifacts are the most prized. Dozens of those finds will be exhibited once the museum opens next spring, said Scott Stephenson, vice president of collections and interpretation.

"I jokingly showed up at the site and said, 'Can I put an order in for a 'No Stamp Act' teapot?' " he said. He was referring to one of the best-known artifacts from the era: a protest in porcelain to taxation without representation. Two hours later, a worker texted him a photograph of a fragment. It was part of a punch bowl bearing an image of a sailing vessel above the text "Success to the Triphena."

In 1765, the ship carried a message from Philadelphia merchants to manufacturers and merchants in Great Britain, urging them to lobby for the Stamp Act's repeal.

"It shows how valuable historical archaeology is," said Stephenson. "It's tough when you walk around the Old City neighborhood and you see construction and realize how much is being hauled away and the sites aren't being excavated. That's information that's just hauled away to a landfill."

In this case, the museum spent about $820,000 to bring in Yamin's team. Because of a tight timeline, they worked alongside the contractors. "There was no saving anything for later," she said.

Yamin was surprised by how many features remained undisturbed: 50 foundation walls and brick-lined shafts, the oldest dating to around 1730. The objects residents and workers dropped into those wells and privies tell the story of a city in flux.

There were mysteries down there, such as a cache of tankards, glasses, and punch bowls, including the Triphena punch bowl, in a privy at an address that was once 30 Carter's Alley.

The artifacts suggested a tavern. But Benjamin Humphreys, who owned the property, was a toolmaker, and there was no tavern license. The team was stumped - until they found a reference to a Mrs. Humphreys being charged with running a "disorderly house" there.

Stephenson noted that the Humphreys' privy dates from 1776, the year of the Declaration of Independence, to 1789, the year the Constitution took effect. "It encompasses one family's Revolutionary War experience, through their trash," he said.

Yamin's team was also able to draw connections to other historical excavations, such as the National Constitution Center site. There, archaeologists found the 1790s home of James Oronoko Dexter, a free African American and a founder of the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas. On that site, they found earthenware dishes from the tavern where Dexter worked on Chestnut Street - owned by Joseph Yates, who had signed Dexter's manumission documents.

"We're discovering an underground history," Yamin said, "and the fragments can be joined together to tell more complete stories about people who are otherwise unknown, people who aren't the Founding Fathers. That's the flesh of history."

There's also the record of the neighborhood itself as it evolved from residential to commercial and then industrial uses.

A well filled with hundreds of lead bars, for example, offered a clue to a new business on the alley.

"We found in the lab that at the tip of each bar, you could see a letter. It was print type," said Kevin Bradley, a project archaeologist. By the mid 19th century, Carter's Alley had become a nexus for printing. This type came from a newspaper: The Inquirer, which was quartered on the alley from 1840 to 1863.

There were also the granite foundations of the Jayne Building, an eight-story proto-skyscraper that was the tallest building in Philadelphia when it was erected in 1850. It was home to Dr. David Jayne, who turned his Victorian-era patent medicine business into an empire, and it later housed the Lippincott button factory. The National Park Service demolished the building in the 1950s.

Many walls will remain buried in place, but some of the artifacts will find their way into the museum. Some will be displayed in what Stephenson calls "immersive environments" - an 18th-century tavern, a home, a meetinghouse, an encampment - designed to appeal to school-age visitors.

Stephenson thinks visitors will be especially intrigued by locally made earthenware and porcelain, a precursor to today's maker movement.

The museum will retain objects relevant to the Revolutionary era, and will donate the rest to the State Museum of Pennsylvania.

Even those not relevant to the war, Yamin said, tell a story: "How cities change, and how quickly they change. . . . We're catching the dynamic of change in a quarter of a block."

smelamed@phillynews.com
215-854-5053"

May 22, 16

"By Mark Judge | May 20, 2016 | 3:31 PM EDT
"The Gateway to Hell," a huge burning gas crater in the heart of Turkmenistan's Karakum desert. (AP Photo)

National Geographic recently posted an article on its website about a group of Christian theologians who are trying to eliminate the concept of hell.

Writer Mark Strauss observes that according to pew, the number of Americans who believe in hell has dropped from 71 percent to 58 percent. Strauss interviews theologians who believe that the concept of eternal punishment is being replaced by “annihilationism,” which holds that those whom God does not save will simply cease to exist.

Strauss:

"Everlasting torment is intolerable from a moral point of view because it makes God into a bloodthirsty monster who maintains an everlasting Auschwitz for victims whom he does not even allow to die," wrote the late Clark Pinnock, an influential evangelical theologian…

“What if the muting of hell is due neither to emotional weakness nor loss of Gospel commitment?” writes Edward Fudge, whose 1982 book, The Fire That Consumes, is widely regarded as the scholarly work that jump-started the current debate. “What if the biblical foundations thought to endorse unending conscious torment are less secure than has been widely supposed?”

Fudge is among those who endorse an alternative doctrine, known as “annihilationism” or “conditional immortality,” which holds that, after death, sinners simply cease to exist, while those who are saved enjoy eternal life under God’s grace. Although it’s not a positive outcome for the wicked—in fact, it amounts to spiritual capital punishment—it’s deemed a far more merciful and just fate than an eternity of torture.

Traditionalists are pushing back at this doctrine, which they view as heresy born out of misguided sentimentality. But, annihilationists believe they have already made significant inroads within the evangelical community.

“My prediction is that, even within conservative evangelical circles, the annihilation view of hell will be the dominant view in 10 or 15 years,” says Preston Sprinkle, who co-authored the book Erasing Hell, which, in 2011, debuted at number three on the New York Times bestseller list. “I base that on how many well-known pastors secretly hold that view. I think that we are at a time and place when there is a growing suspicion of adopting tradition for the sake of tradition.”

Strauss also talks to Chris Date, who runs a website called Rethinking Hell. Date explains his view on “conditionalism,” which is another term for annihilationism: “The fate that we conditionalists suggest awaits those who obstinately reject Christ is a fearful one. There is no greater human fear than death. We fight tooth and nail to preserve our lives at all costs. But death isn't unbelievable and archaic the way that eternal torment is to many.”

"

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